My brother gave me this book. By now, I have frequently made a gift out of it and I think it is indeed one of the best books I have read in recent years.
Tage ohne Ende is a western. I never had much of an affinity for westerns.
In this case, things were different. The book is brutal, but not exclusively. It also contains love – and a lot of it. It is a kind of queer western that covers the subject matter of civil war and violence and genocide as well as masculinity and crossdressing. And because it covers the subject matter of death so profoundly, it is also about survival.
Casually and with an unheard-of matter-of-factness, the first-person narrator describes his life as a soldier, as a man, and his life as a woman in times of war. His love for his friend and for their jointly adopted daughter Wiona.
The language has something report-like and is in a strange way sober and poetic at the same time. The young first-person narrator does not take himself seriously at all.
I don't know many books that manage to make the unreadable readable, as it happens here.
I have read the novel three years ago. Now we have a war in Europe.
Horror is not history.
Bettina Meyer, Zurich, 18 March 2023